The science of cartilage
Your joints have a layer of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for your bones. In the hip, there is a ball and socket joint which connects the leg and the pelvis. The cartilage in the hip allows for smooth, pain-free movement; however, when this cartilage gets damaged or worn out, you can start to experience pain symptoms. This pain can mean restricted movement; it can mean a restricted life.
“Once your cartilage is damaged or worn out, it doesn’t grow back. And, without cartilage there’s no cushioning between the bones. This can cause a lot of pain when you try to maintain an active lifestyle,” says Dr. Rhys Clark.
What does it feel like?
Common in the larger weight-bearing joints, such as the hip, osteoarthritis usually means pain. The major symptom is groin pain and can usually intensify after a long walk or other exercise.
“Most of my patients with hip arthritis experience this kind of groin pain alongside joint stiffness. These symptoms can make it hard to bend down and can often be worse after activity or in the cold.”
There is no cure for osteoarthritis
While there are non-surgical methods to relieve the symptoms of hip arthritis, unfortunately there is no cure. Surgical treatment, such as hip replacement surgery can get you back to an active lifestyle, a life with the joy of movement.
“My work is always centred on getting people back to a pain-free life. In some cases, my patients can’t remember a time when activity didn’t involve pain. But that’s where I can make a lasting change to their future.”